(originally published 5/13/11 in KnightBlog)
There’s an outdoor art exhibition opening in Detroit this Saturday that will demonstrate not only the talent of participating local artists, but also the spirit of cooperation and community engagement that distinguishes so much grassroots work in this city. Access Arts Detroit, which hosted four outdoor art exhibitions on Belle Isle in recent years, partnered with Forward Arts, a nonprofit arts program management group, and the Woodbridge Neighborhood Development Corporation. Together, they are bringing art and activity to Scripps Park, an under-used public space in Woodbridge.
I spoke with Louis Casinelli, Access Arts Detroit’s founder and director, and Dominic Arellano, executive director of Forward Arts, about providing support to emerging artists and engaging the community through art in public places. Their partnership allowed Access Arts to grant stipends to artists producing work for the show and facilitated Access Arts’ ongoing efforts to reach at-risk Detroit youth through art education. (In addition to exhibiting work by the eight participating artists, the show will also feature work by three high school students who’ve participated in Access Arts’ education program.) Some highlights from our conversation are below.